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Schweizer, Urs (September 2006): Reliance Investments, Expectation Damages and Hidden Information. SFB/TR 15 Discussion Paper No. 162 [PDF, 217kB]


A setting of reliance investments is explored where one of the parties to a contract obtains private information concerning his utility or cost function that remains hidden to the other party and to courts. As a consequence, it will be a difficult task to award expectation damages corrrectly to a party with private information who sufffers from breach of contract. While a revelation mechanism would exist that leads to the first best solution, assessing expectation damages correctly turns out to be at odds with ex post efficiency. I conclude that, under asymmetric information, the performance of expectation damages falls short of what more general mechanisms could achieve.

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